I am a marginalized sector.
Yep, you heard me correctly. I believe that me, myself, and I, qualify as a marginalized sector in our country today. If Q.C politician Bernadette Herrera could convert her political machinery into the partylist group BH (what a coincidence, eh?), then I, an ordinary Filipino, could also count as a marginalized sector.
I could also claim to represent my hometown/provinces, even if I don’t reside in it like Dato Arroyo, and run under a partylist like Ako C-SIQ (Ako Camarines Sur-Isabela-Q.C).
Or I could represent any sector I choose at random. If the old pedophiles at the COMELEC can claim that Mikey Arroyo can represent security guards and tricycle drivers, then I can certainly pass for a representative of fishball vendors (I am one of their steady patrons), bus drivers and conductors (I prefer buses over jeeps), computer sellers (hello LPGMA?), and scientists (AGHAM Partylist doesn’t have a single scientist in their roster).
Or since religious cults like Iglesia ni Cristo and El Shaddai now qualify as marginalized sectors, I can establish a partylist using my fans and fanatics. And I’ll claim that it represents “pro-life advocates”, “defenders of the institution of the Family”, and other right-wing bullshit.
If you are reading this article, chances are you voted for a partylist group last Monday. Chances are, you voted for any of the progressive partylist groups in the race: the original Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, the Gabriela Women’s Party, KABATAAN, ACT Teachers, Katribu, and Akap Bata.
You could have also voted for other less-militant, but definitely non-dubious, partylist groups like CIBAC, Ang Ladlad, PEP, etc.
Regardless, we have been screwed by traditional politicians who have decided to fuck the partylist system.
First, there are the local politicians who have become so disreputable that they cannot win in their constituencies but still command a good political machinery. Instead of splitting the vote in his/her area, he/she could still run under a partylist, and win most of the votes of his/her area constituency. Some examples include Cagayan-Isabela’s LPGMA, Quezon City’s BH and PCL, and Zambales’ AVE.
Second are vested-interest groups, as I’ve already mentioned before, outside of traditional politicians.
Third, is the Arroyo Administration and its attempts to keep Gloria Arroyo’s Prime Minister dreams alive. The representatives of Ako Bicol, A-Teacher, Butil, ABC, YACAP, Kasangga, Ang Galing Pinoy, ANAD, and Agbiag can be the “swing vote” which will help Gloria become our first post-Marcos PM.
Fourth are the ruling elites in general and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. They hate the left-leaning partylist groups under the MAKABAYAN Coalition. In their nine years of existence (Bayan Muna was founded in 2001), they have consistently exposed the wrongdoings of the Arroyo Administration, including abuses and corruption by the military. It is the wet dream of every trapo to have these partylist groups removed by any means possible. By fielding a lot of partylist groups, they increase the total number of votes cast for partylists, thus increasing the raw number representing the 2% minimum, thus making it all but impossible for any partylist group to get in Congress.
To every Filipino voter, especially those who still have faith in elections, we have been screwed once again. The question is, will you just bend over and let them? Or will you finally decide to kick them in the nuts?
If you choose the latter, here are some things you can do:
1. Read more about the issue. Poll watchdog group Kontra Daya has a list of bogus partylist groups that have been discovered so far. It also has an article on those who are likely to make it in the next Congress. Workers’ group KMU also has an analysis on the “unbelievable” numbers of the partylist poll.
2. Spread the word. Tell everyone you know about the issue. Personally talk to them, text, email, etc. Of course, there’s the ever-useful Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, Tumblr, etc. The more people are aware of the issue, the more people are willing to take action.
3. Get ready to take action. Make some noise. Yes, we can easily make some noise online. But what can really pressure the COMELEC into taking action is the sight of hundreds, or even thousands, of angry voters and citizens outside their main office in Manila. Take note, the PUP Administration has been more open to negotiations and dialogues with concerned PUP students since the now-famous student actions last March. The COMELEC should get the same feeling: that we, concerned Filipinos, are right about the boiling point.
More likely than not, you are feeling sad about this elections. Even if you are for Noynoy, you probably dislike the senatorial race results. But let’s not make it a total loss for our team, The People. Let’s get one point. Let’s knockout these dubious partylists.